Ignition Partners Closes $150M Fifth Fund

Early stage investor Ignition Partners announced Wednesday that it had closed its fifth fund with $150 million in commitments. Ignition also said it had added Nick Sturiale as a partner based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and that the firm had opened a new office in Palo Alto, Calif. Sturiale previously worked at JAFCO Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds and the Carlyle Group.


BELLEVUE, WA and PALO ALTO, CA—April 4, 2013—Ignition Partners, an early-stage venture-capital firm, announced it has closed its fifth fund. The $150 million vehicle will target early-stage investments in enterprise-technology companies located throughout the U.S., with a strong emphasis on the West Coast.
Ignition also has added a new partner, Nick Sturiale, based in the San Francisco Bay Area and opened a new office in Palo Alto, Calif. The moves are part of a transition toward creating a more-focused partnership with a larger Silicon Valley presence—and one with deep operational experience in the enterprise. The new dual-geography presence will give the firm access to innovative ideas, and talent, in both markets.
The core team behind Ignition Venture Partners V includes partners John Connors, Frank Artale and Sturiale, who previously worked at JAFCO Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds and the Carlyle Group. Connors, a former top Microsoft executive who served as its chief financial officer, joined Ignition in 2005. Artale, a longtime software-industry executive who has held top positions at companies including Citrix, XenSource and Microsoft, joined the firm in 2011.
Artale and Sturiale are also former entrepreneurs: Artale co-founded Consera Software, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2004, and was an early employee at XenSource. Sturiale’s company, Timbre Technologies, was purchased by Tokyo Electron in 2001.
Investors in Ignition’s new fund, which was oversubscribed and raised by the current team in less than three months, include returning and new university endowments, pension funds and investment firms.
“With approximately $450 million in distributions in the last 12 months, our firm has strong momentum going forward, and we are honored to receive such strong support and validation from our limited partners,” said Connors. “We are extremely upbeat about the current market and view the recent string of successful, enterprise-software IPOs as the start of a decade-long run of innovation that will usher in major productivity enhancements, and new ways of doing business, for companies worldwide.”
Recent Ignition exits include the initial public offering of Splunk, a “big-data” company that went public in April and stands as one of the most successful new technology stock offerings of the last several years, and the acquisitions of portfolio companies StorSimple, Azaleos and Zenprise. Previous Ignition successes include virtualization company XenSource (acquired by Citrix) and cloud-development firm Heroku (acquired by Salesforce.com).
Other, current Ignition investments include Cloudera, DocuSign, Parse, Hipmunk, Opscode and Bromium. The new fund will invest more narrowly in areas such as “consumerized” enterprise software, cloud technologies and big data, building on Ignition’s technology “platform” expertise.
“We applaud Ignition’s refined, more-focused approach to early-stage investing and believe the enterprise-IT landscape is poised to create important new companies and substantial new wealth,” said Tom Gladden, a partner at Adams Street Partners, which has invested in the new fund.
Other team members in Ignition V include Administrative Partner Robert Headley; Venture Partner Cameron Myhrvold; Chief Financial Officer Jack Ferry; and Principal Kristina Kerr Bergman. Partners from prior Ignition funds will continue to serve in their current roles to maximize returns from existing portfolio companies.
About Ignition
Ignition Partners helps entrepreneurs build innovative, category-defining businesses of lasting value. The firm, with offices in Bellevue, Wash. and Palo Alto, Calif., specializes in early-stage investments in “consumerized” enterprise IT, cloud computing and big data.